Reflective Professional and Self-Development Report


The Reflective Professional and Self-development Report is your final assessment task for this course. Your objectives are to critically review each of the following:

  • your progressive learning of professional counselling competencies;
  • your growing self-awareness of the influence of your own personal elements on your counselling work.

Embedded in this review is a reflection on your emerging strengths, as well as of areas for improvement. Importantly, your reflective analysis of your development will also need to be informed by the relevant counselling literature we have discussed this trimester.

A key aspect that will be assessed is the quality of your reflections. That means you need to demonstrate the following:

  1. Your ability to succinctly describe your perspective about your strengths and areas for improvement, based on your experience, as well as linking your points to the literature;
  2. For your strengths – Your ability to reflectively evaluate and explain what has helped you develop strength in this specific counselling attribute/competency, how you have learned and developed this aspect, and how this aspect impacts on your current stage of professional development.

For your areas of improvement – Your ability to reflectively evaluate and explain why further development in this area is necessary, including how you have learned in this area so far, and to discuss how this aspect impacts on your current stage of professional development.

  1. Your ability to consider the overall relevance of what you have discussed for your ongoing development and to outline what you are going to do (in specific and achievable terms) to consolidate or improve your counselling competencies/attributes and self-development.

This assignment has two main sections:

  1. Reflection of progressive learning of counselling competencies and counsellor attributes.
  2. Reflection on your growing self-awareness of the person you are, and how this impacts you

The total word limit is 800 words, so as a guide, it is suggested that you focus the first 400 words on Section 1, and the remaining 400 words on Section 2.


Section 1 – ‘Reflection of progressive learning of counselling competencies and attributes’:

1 – Choose one counsellor attribute that you see as a strength within yourself, as well as one counsellor attribute that is an area for improvement.

For both of these components, include in your reflection which counselling skills this particular attribute also impacts on for you (e.g., for a counsellor attribute you have as a strength, which counselling skills does this attribute positively influence?)

When reflecting on your progressive learning of counsellor attributes, you need to draw on the literature (including your textbook) and link your observations of your learning and development, to what you find in the literature. For example, consider why is this attribute important? What elements make it work? What role does it play in counselling? And so on.

When reflecting on your skill development and your attributes, it may also help you to consider ‘learning moments’ during tutorials and lectures; what are some experiences or knowledge/theory you encountered that really made a difference to your learning? Also, consider the process you experienced and what you have learned from undertaking the recorded role play for the counselling competency assessment.

Here are some specific questions that you might ask yourself, which can help you reflect on a particular skill or attribute (you do not need to necessary answer all these, they are simply here to help guide your thinking):

  • What do I see as the attribute where I have made a lot of progress? (or that I am finding hard?) o What makes me say this?
  • What evidence do I have for this?
  • What are the requirements about attribute (and any associated skills) in terms of the literature?
  • What was my level of this attribute at the beginning of this course?
  • Where am I at now?
  • How do I ‘explain’ the progress I have made? What parts of the course have contributed to my development?
  • How does the level I see myself at now correspond with what the literature says?
  • What will I do with this? How do I envisage myself consolidating this gain/or working on improving this attribute – in specific terms?


Section 2 – ‘Reflection on your growing self-awareness as the person you are’:

While many of you may not go on to become a “counsellor”, counselling competencies are often needed in many different contexts, and can be effectively embedded into the broader work of a range of professionals.

So, in addition to reflecting on the attributes and skills you have developed in this course, you are also required to reflect on your growing self-awareness of the influence of your personal tendencies, preferences, biases, values and beliefs, to identify one particular aspect of strength, and one particular aspect you would like to further develop. In doing so you may consider what you have discovered about yourself in lecture and tutorial activities as well as in personal reflections.

You might like to review some of the readings from earlier in the course, such as in Weeks 1 and 2. These are found in the course Reading List. For example:

  • Chapter 2 (The counselor: Person and professional) from – Corey, G. (2016). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (10th ed.) (pp. 17-35). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
  • Chapter 2 (A model of embedded counselling) – McLeod, J., & McLeod, J. (2011). Counselling skills : A practical guide for counsellors and helping professionals (2nd ed.). Maidenhead, England: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • As well as the relevant chapters of the text, such as – Chapter 3 (Influence of the counsellor’s values; pp. 19-22); Chapter 1 (What is counselling?; pp. 2-10); Chapter 2 (The counselling relationship; pp. 11-18); Chapter 14 (Working Collaboratively; pp. 118-123)


The following series of trigger questions can guide you in this task of reflecting on the areas of self-awareness you have chosen to discuss.

You can begin by stating what you have observed as the most central aspects of your ‘self’ in relation to your learning and development this trimester. Then consider those aspects of your ‘self’ that are strengths, and those you would like to further develop. Choose one of each, and then reflect on these choices. Consider what made you choose this aspect, and what observations have informed you about this. Use the questions below to reflect on this more deeply:

  • What is this aspect of myself? (How do I describe or explain it?) How does this aspect of myself influence my counselling practice?
  • What specific benefits (or drawbacks) can I identify with regards to this aspect of myself?
  • What does this mean in terms of my future professional development? What am I going to do to further develop this aspect over the next six to twelve months?
  • What specific steps will I apply to managing the influence of this aspect of myself when working with people?